BIGBANG’s leader G-Dragon is, unfortunately, not a stranger to controversy and scandal. He has been accused of plagiarism and found to have smoked marijuana in the past to name a couple of the more serious ones. While it is fair to say that the K-Entertainment industry will have frenzy whipped up about the even the smallest of incidents, there are still many celebrities that seem to attract more attention than others with their behaviour.
So when fans first heard about G-Dragon’s latest offense, which involved the star sharing a photo on his Instagram account showing him with his face painted black, the collective sigh from VIPs was almost audible (or perhaps that was just mine). Western media outlets were beginning to grab hold of the post and dub it as a misguided ‘tribute’ to a Black American teenager Trayvon Martin who was killed in February 2012. This case reached a new level of sensitivity recently as the perpetrator, George Zimmerman, was acquitted of the crime on self-defence grounds. This verdict caused uproar amongst those who believe Martin was an innocent victim.
‘SPIN’ magazine, belonging to the ‘LA Times’ and the UK’s ‘The Guardian’ reported the ‘misguided tribute’ story (as we covered in a recent post). This prompted YG Entertainment to issue an official statement clarifying that the story is “being derived by a simple photo shoot where GD was using different face paint colours for his upcoming album,” His spokesperson further stressed that the whole idea of the photo being a Trayvon Martin tribute was a “complete misunderstanding”.
This situation obviously does not bode well for GD’s global image, YG Entertainment’s artists are often touted to be the most likely to succeed on the Western market and being the one often affectionately named YG’s ‘Golden Boy’ – GD is at the forefront of this advancement.
Aside from the ridiculousness of this entire situation itself, what annoys me personally is that, yet again, G-Dragon did not issue a formal statement himself. Nor has he done so after his past scandals, only speaking briefly of events much later when pushed to do so on a television programme such as ‘Healing Camp’. I am a big fan of G-Dragon and I think he is an immensely talented and hard-working individual, perhaps it is for that reason that I am left slightly disappointed when he fails to step forward himself when these sorts of things happen.
To the best of my knowledge, all Eastern Asian cultures share a fundamental value in personal honour, as such, things like taking responsibility for one’s actions is completely essential. I have frequently marvelled at many South Korean celebrities’ capacity for doing so, for example, when presenter Kang Ho Dong placed himself on a long voluntary hiatus from the entertainment industry when he was accused of tax evasion, only to later be proven not guilty.
I do not expect GD to take any kind of hiatus as a result of this, nor do I expect him to apologise. However, I can say I would have liked him to address the issue personally and clear everything up himself. I believe that it was indeed a ridiculous misunderstanding and that it was just a simple photograph taken on a whim that was taken completely out of context by journalists eager to jump to conclusions, but would it hurt for G-Dragon himself to step forward and clarify this as soon as it happened?
I am not suggesting GD is the only celebrity to evade confrontation of the scandals they have been swept up in, but this recent happening has left his particular career history fresh in my mind.
Of course, celebrities in the K-entertainment industry usually work for an agency and it may be seen as the company’s responsibility to clear the air. There is a likely possibility that it is part of his contract to keep quiet and let the PR department at YG Entertainment make the official statements whenever scandals and controversies occur, in which case my argument is quite redundant. If this is the case though, I would still argue that leaving some responsibility on your artists’ shoulders is very necessary, even if it’s only to ensure that they are respected by the public as people as well as entertainers.
Let us know what you think of this issue and this article in the comment section below.
Agree or disagree?
Or think there isn’t really an issue at all?
In other G-Dragon news, he has been filming in London and seems to be enjoying his time in the UK!